I love Pinterest. I use it for researching ideas, finding recipes, finding tutorials and more. My personal account has over 6000 pins of amazing ideas and inspiration.
Do you know how many of these ideas I’ve actually used? Maybe 100 or 200? Which is only a measly 1.6-3%! So what’s the point of collecting all those ideas?
Because It’s Easier To Consume
It’s Fun: Websites like Pinterest or Houzz and beautiful magazines like Artful Blogging are full of great ideas, inspiring words and beautiful images. I’m constantly amazed by the out-of-the-box ideas I come across.
It’s Safe: Consuming and researching ideas is safe, acting on them means exposing ourselves to risk and criticism. So, if we keep researching, taking classes, or buying books, we don’t have to put ourselves out there and act on the idea.
It’s A Distraction: Again, it’s fun! When we are stressed out and want to ignore the chaos, scrolling through our feed for ideas is a great way to ignore the world for awhile.
Consuming For A Purpose
It’s true that we need to continually feed our creative side with new ideas and inspiration. However, there is a fine line between consuming for a purpose and consuming for a distraction. It’s easy to get caught up in a wealth of new ideas that we never take the time to actually act on an idea.
This month I FINALLY produced a mini magazine called The Selah Reflections Journal. Do you know how long I have talked about doing this? Probably a couple of years now. But I needed more information, more ideas, more training before taking the next step. It was easier to research the idea rather than act on it.
It’s Harder To Produce
Producing art takes time, effort and commitment. It takes time to learn a new skill. And even more time is needed to practice and hone that skill.
With our schedules already full, it’s easy to use that as an excuse and put it off. If you put it off long enough, it probably will never happen.
Last year I took a great class on still life photography. It has been an incredible source of inspiration. But it is a time commitment to set-up a photo shoot, gather materials, experiment with new camera settings and then editing the images. As a result of my busy schedule, I did not carve out the consistent time needed to practice. It became my excuse to not even try. Was I busy? Yes! But it was important enough I should have made the time.
When we do finally create, the lovely “comparison trap” tends to rear its ugly head. We feel intimidated and sometimes discouraged because it does look as good as his, hers, or theirs. How quickly we forget that they have put in the time and effort to practice.
Acting on the ideas we have collected requires stepping out of our comfort zone and realize the possibility of failure. Trying something new doesn’t always work out the first time.
Sharing Is Even Harder
We can be our own worst critic! When sharing something we have worked hard on it’s easy to say “I did it, but… this didn’t happen, it’s missing this, or it doesn’t look like…” It’s not easy to accept the praise offered by others when all we can see are the mistakes.
Sharing something we have spent time creating is like sharing a bit of our soul and can leave us feeling vulnerable and exposed. It’s like we are revealing a part of us that is normally kept hidden.
It took me a long time to share my early blog posts way back in the beginning. Actually, even up until this post – it’s been rare that I’ve shared them on my own Facebook profile. It felt risky and unsafe to open up and share in such a visible way.
By The Way, We Are All Artists
Yes, even you! Art comes in many different forms, shapes and sizes. Of course there are the expected forms like drawing, writing, painting, music or photography. But what about cooking, baking, decorating your home, meal planning, entertaining kids, homeschooling, teaching, hospitality, or landscaping?
Don’t discount the art inside you!
Creating Is Important
When we feel overwhelmed and stressed out, taking the time to create something might be just what we need. It can change our focus from the chaos around us to the single idea in front of us, to create.
Photography can be that way for me. Pulling out my camera helps me be present in the here and now. The to-do list for tomorrow and the website project that is giving me a headache starts to slip away. Through the lens of my camera, I am observing my surroundings, I’m seeing small details that would normally be missed.
Creating can help us find stillness in the midst of life!
It’s Time To Produce!
I ran into this question awhile ago, (can’t remember where…) “What if we produced more than we consumed?”. So…
- If you normally just scroll through your Instagram feed, take a picture and share it.
- If you normally only collect ideas on Pinterest, pick one and try it.
- If you write a blog post and keep it semi-hidden, this time, share it publicly on your Facebook profile.
- If you haven’t written a letter in awhile, write one. But don’t use just blue or black ink – try purple or orange. And go extra wild and add a sticker to the envelope :).
What will you create and share this week?
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her buddy Bailey. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books including her newest, “Choosing Gratitude: A Daily Quiet Time Journal”.